Grand Avenue Park to Sunset Park (Chino Hills)

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View from the Sunset Trail
On the Grand Avenue Trail

Grand Avenue Park to Sunset Park  (Chino Hills)

    • Location: Grand Avenue Park, Chino Hills.  From the 57/60 Freeways, take the Grand Avenue exit and head southeast for 3.3 miles to the park.  Turn right and park in the lot.  From the Riverside area, take the 71 Freeway to the Edison Avenue/Grand Avenue exit.  Turn left on Grand Avenue and head 3.4 miles to the park.  Turn left and park in the lot.  Parking is free and there are restrooms at the trail head.
    • Agency:  City of Chino Hills
    • Distance: 3 miles
    • Elevation gain: 600 feet
    • Difficulty Rating: PG
    • Suggested time: 1.5 hours
    • Best season: October – June
    • USGS topo map: Ontario
    • Recommended gear: Hiking Poles; Sun Hat
    • More information: here; Everytrail report here
    • Rating: 4

Like the nearby La Sierra Loop, which is visible from this trail, the trip from Grand Avenue Park to Sunset Park is a good workout that couldn’t be more conveniently located for residents of Chino Hills, Diamond Bar and the surrounding communities.  The recreational trails, such as this one, that are operated by the city, are open seven days a week and are dog friendly, unlike the more famous Chino Hills State Park. This trip has a lot of ups and downs–figuratively and literally. Several sharp ascents and descents in both directions make it a good workout. The highlights include (on a clear day) great views of Mt. Baldy and the San Gabriels, and perhaps San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. The drawbacks are that there is virtually no shade on the trip, and that a substantial portion of the hike runs alongside a barbed-wire fence. (The trail is wide enough so that the fence doesn’t present a safety hazard; it just costs aesthetic points.)

From the lot, look for the Grand Avenue bridle trail on the east (left as you’re coming in) end of the park. Follow it and take the second left turn, which is signed for Sunset Park and immediately heads up a steep hill. Cross carefully over a drainage ditch, pass through a fence and continue your climb. You reach the top of a knoll where you get a nice view of the area. Then there’s a steep descent (250 feet in less than a quarter mile). As you can probably guess, making the ascent on the return trip is a thankless task. At the bottom of the hill, head right on the Sunset Trail.

In a way, the rest of the hike is a little anti-climatic, but since you’ve come this far, you might as well finish it. The trail leads into a shallow canyon. You come up alongside the fence, and continue to follow the trail before beginning the next major ascent (1.1 miles from the start). This brings you to a junction, where you head left and then climb a staircase on the right, arriving at Sunset Park. Here, you can sit at a picnic table and enjoy the view before heading back.

Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

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